Shorty after midnight, in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, October 10th, 2011, a large amount of New Mexico State Police appeared from no where in complete riot gear, paddy wagons, and K9 dogs to order the Occupy Albuquerque protesters from their camp.
According to news sources, as well as the President of UNM, the permit which the group had applied for was the wrong permit. The protesters are, in fact, required to file a different permit which allows for overnight stays. The group has been in constant contact with the administration and why this was chosen to be addressed at midnight is rather unclear.
The numbers from last night vary, but there were an estimated 20-25 protesters asleep in “Coyote Camp,” which is the nick-name given for the central location of the people supporting and involved with Occupy Albuquerque; and numbers vary from 30-50 police showing up. Sounds like a bit of overkill – especially when they are sleeping. Itt was simply a flat out sneaky move.
According to the New Mexico Daily Lobo, an independent newspaper of UNM: Administration or the police.
University Spokeswoman Karen Wentworth said Administration repeatdly told protesters they were not allowed to stay on campus overnight because it is in violation of University policy and is unsafe for protesters.
“Central (Avenue) is just not a safe place,” she said. “We don’t have enough police to stay there and make sure nothing happens… We’re very short-staffed.”
In addressing these statements, Occupy Albuquerque has been in close contact with the University and police alike. If there was a violation occurring, then why was this not addressed previously – like when the University gave permission for an already 24-hour camp to relocate from one section of campus to another? And the need to wake them in the middle of the night to do so is clearly a bullying tactic meant to intimidate the protesters. Several of those within the group have been previously informed that they may need to leave today – but I am pretty sure they were not expecting to do so right after the day starts at midnight.
Additionally, in regards to the reference to Central Avenue not being a safe place… As every city has their homeless and indigent people, so does Albuquerque. There were fewer people occupying this camp than there are of the homeless sleeping elsewhere on Central Avenue which is the main corridor of traffic for the indigent from one side of the city to the other. This is a complete bullsh*t excuse.
The video here is a recount of last nights incident with the police as well as the group making every attempt, both past and present, to obtain the proper permit for overnight stays on campus during the Occupy Albuquerque/Wall Street movement. There is still quite a bit of confusion within the group as we are simply not getting straight answers from neither the administration nor the police. It appears as though the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing within the UNM Administration or the police.